Members of Congress urge Pompeo to condemn Chechnya anti-LGBTI crackdown

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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More than 60 members of the U.S. House of Representatives on Jan. 29 urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to publicly condemn the anti-LGBTI crackdown in Chechnya.

U.S. Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) and the other lawmakers in their letter also urged Pompeo to pressure the Russian government to end the crackdown.

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State Department ‘deeply disturbed’ by latest Chechnya anti-LGBTI crackdown

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The State Department on Jan. 17 said it is “deeply disturbed” by reports that indicate at least two people have been killed and upwards of 40 others have been detained in the latest anti-LGBTI crackdown in Chechnya.

“We are deeply disturbed by credible reports out of Chechnya about renewed attacks against individuals perceived to be members of the LGBTI community,” said Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino in a statement.

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Anti-LGBTI crackdown in Chechnya continues

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Washington Blade has confirmed a report that indicates several men and women were recently detained in Chechnya because of their sexual orientation.

Igor Kochetkov, a prominent Russian LGBTI rights activist, on Jan. 11 told the Associated Press the detentions began late last month.

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Cicilline touts Equality Act as House’s new senior gay member

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) will become the most senior openly gay member of the U.S. House as Democrats take the majority this week, but he’s more excited about the growing ranks of openly LGB people who will serve in Congress alongside him and finally being able to move long-awaited legislation to ban anti-LGBT discrimination.

Asked by the Blade during an interview in his office Dec. 20 about his new distinction as the most senior out gay member of the House with outgoing Rep. Jared Polis leaving to become governor of Colorado, Cicilline said he’s “very proud” the chamber will have a net gain of two out LGB members in the 116th Congress and talked about the Equality Act.

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Report documents anti-LGBTI extrajudicial killings in Chechnya

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on Dec. 20 released a report that documents extrajudicial killings and other human rights abuses against LGBTI people in Chechnya.

The report, which the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights wrote, notes the first anti-LGBTI crackdown in Chechnya, a semi-autonomous Russian republic in the North Caucasus, took place between December 2016-February 2017.

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HRC joins protest against Trump, Putin before Finland summit

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Human Rights Campaign on Sunday urged President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin to publicly condemn the ongoing anti-gay crackdown in Chechnya during their summit in Finland.

The organization specifically projected onto the side of the Presidential Palace in the Finnish capital of Helsinki where the meeting took place on Monday slogans that read, among other things, “Trump and Putin: Stop the crimes against humanity in Chechnya” and “The whole world is watching.” The projections also urged Putin to “investigate LGBTQ persecution” in Chechnya and to “bring the perpetrators to justice.”

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Senate committee unanimously approves Chechnya resolution

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday unanimously approved a resolution that condemns the anti-LGBT crackdown in Chechnya.

U.S. Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) introduced the resolution in June. The U.S. House of Representatives in the same month approved an identical resolution that U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) introduced.

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Russian group claims to have evacuated 64 people from Chechnya

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A Russian LGBT advocacy group says it has evacuated 64 people from Chechnya over the last four months.

A 31-page report the Russian LGBT Network released on Monday notes those it has helped leave the semi-autonomous Russian republic in the North Caucuses “were relocated” to shelters in central Russia. The Russian LGBT Network, which is based in St. Petersburg, also said more than 130 people from Chechnya and neighboring republics have “requested assistance of a different nature because of the persecution from the local authorities and hostile relatives.”

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White House says it’s upset by Chechen leader’s anti-gay remarks

By : Wire Report
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MOSCOW (AP) – The White House says it was concerned at remarks by the leader of Chechnya who suggested any gay people in his Russian republic should be shipped to Canada.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has faced international criticism since a Russian newspaper reported this spring that his security forces had detained some 100 gay men, torturing or killing some of them. The Associated Press has spoken to some of the victims.

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State Dept. dodges question about Tillerson’s silence on Chechnya

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert on Tuesday did not say why Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has yet to publicly condemn the ongoing crackdown against gay men in Chechnya.

Nauert noted to the Washington Blade during a press briefing the State Department has urged the Russian government to conduct an investigation into the crackdown.

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Chechen leader invokes damnation for gay persecution claims

By : Wire Report
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MOSCOW (AP) – Chechnya’s strongman leader has harshly denounced claims that his southern Russian republic has tortured and even killed gay men, denying that there even are any homosexual men in his region.

Kremlin-backed Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov has faced wide international criticism since a Russian newspaper reported this spring that his security forces had detained some 100 gay men, torturing or killing some of them.

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Chechnya’s leader invites Macron, Merkel to visit his region

By : Wire Report
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MOSCOW (AP) – The leader of Russia’s Chechnya has invited the French president and the German chancellor to visit his region and check for themselves the reports about gay people being killed and tortured there.

The Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported in April that gay men in Chechnya had been tortured and killed by police. The Associated Press last month spoke to two victims of the crackdown who backed the reports.

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